Gerze County, also known as “Gertse County“, is located in the east of Ngari Prefecture. In the old days, Gerze County belonged to the three tribes of Gerze, Seguo and Bangba.
It is 450 kilometers from east to west, 670 kilometers from north to south with total area of 135,600 square kilometers. It is the largest pure animal husbandry county in Ngari Prefecture
The county seat of Gerze County is Gerze Town. The two highways of S301 and G216 (Xinjiang-Tibet Highway Second Line) pass through the county.
Gerze County is connected to Shuanghu County and Nyima county in east, Coqen County in southeast, Zhongba County in south, Gegyai County and Rutok County to west, and it is bordered Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in north with Kunlun Mountain as boundary
Gerze County is in the hinterland of Northwest Tibet Plateau, with an average elevation of over 4,700 meters. The land is vast and sparsely populated, and the natural ecology is primitive. A land area of 100,000 square kilometers belongs to the Qiang-Tang Nature Reserve.
Best travel time
From June to September
Plateau sub-frigid arid climate
Most popular sites
Xiagangjiang Snow Mountain is located in Dongcuo Township, about 100 kilometers away from the county seat. The peaks are covered with snow all year round. There is a hot spring at the bottom of the snow mountain.
Mami Lake is located in Mami Township, 90 kilometers away from the county seat. Mami Lake is regarded as “Right Eye” of the legendary Lake Manasarovar, and also one of well-known holy lakes in local
The northern eco-tourism scenic spots (Chabu Township, Xianqian Township, Gum Township) are distributed with a large number of plateau lakes, meadows, snow-capped mountains and wild animals, all of which are ideal places for exploration, scientific research and sightseeing.
Mami monastery, also known as “Mikmar monastery“, is located in the Guchang Valley in Mami Township. It has a history of nearly 800 years and it is one of the oldest Nyingma pa of Tibetan Buddhism monasteries. Mami monastery is built on the mountain, there is a Puba (cave) for practice, there are other buildings such as sutra halls, Monks’ dormitory, pagodas, etc. The monastery houses Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, scriptures and other classics.
Zajiang monastery is also knwon as “Drakgyam Gonpa“. It is located in Gerze Town, about 15 kilometers away from the county. It is a Kagyu pa monastery was founded in 1950 by lama Yonten. On the periphery of the monastery, there is a neatly planned and large-scale Choden Group (Stupa group). The temple is unique with its architectural style that combines the characteristics of Tibetan and Chinese architecture. There is a celestial burial platform about 3 kilometers southwest of the temple, which is quite helpful for understanding Tibetan funeral culture
Geography and climate
Gerze County has an average elevation of 4,700 meters and a lowest elevation of 4,416 meters. It is located in the hinterland of Northern Tibet Plateau.
Gerze County is all alpine valleys without plains. The mountain is gentle and the terrain slopes from northwest to southeast. The mountain ranges are Kunlun Mountain, Long-ger Mountain, Xia Kangjian, Darilong, Boza, Chaduogangri, etc., all peaks are over 6000 meters above sea level. The highest peak, Qiong-Muzitag Peak, is 6962 meters above sea level.
There are a large number of glaciers, rivers (all inland rivers), lakes, hot springs and abundant groundwater in Gerze County. The glaciers in the territory are mainly distributed in Kunlun Mountains, Xiagangjian, Tsang-Sagangri, Qiong-bogangla, Anglonggangri Mountains, etc., with a total area of about 72 million square meters. The water quality is good and it is an important supply source for rivers, lakes and springs in this county.
There are 12 rivers with a total length of more than 20 kilometers in the territory, and 14 lakes with a size of more than 60 square kilometers, most of which are salt lakes. Heishibei (North of Black Stone) Lake is the highest lake in Gerze county with an elevation of 5,048 meters. There are more than 30 hot-springs scattered throughout the territory.
Gerze County has a plateau sub-cold and arid plateau monsoon climate. Drought, much wind, big temperature difference between day and night, long sunshine time.
Taking Long-ren as the boundary, the climate varies greatly between South and North.
Annual average temperature is -0.2℃, average temperature in January is -12.8℃, the extreme minimum temperature is -44.6℃ (December 1987); average temperature in July is 11.9℃, and the extreme maximum temperature is 26℃ (June 1979). The average daily temperature difference is about 14°C.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2019, the county has a total population of 26,735, and Tibetans account for 98% of total population
Seguo Costume Clothing is one of the more distinctive costumes among tribal costumes in Gerze County, which Pulu (Home-woven wool with wool) and sheepskin are usually used as materials. Regardless of sleeves or sleeveless garments, The bright red, black, blue, cyan, and green are all left behind, then coupled with all kinds of jewelry, knives. The five colors represent rainbow, which symbolizes a primitive worship of rainbow (note: Tibetan people think that rainbow represents fairies).
Intermarriage between cousins is a unique feature of Seguo tribe’s marriage custom
Folk song is affected by nomadic life, the local folk songs are high-pitched, bold and rough, and mainly praise life. Influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, the lyrics often use metaphors (religious instruments are used as metaphors).